Catholic Bishops of Florida Urge Governor Crist to Halt Executions

For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 26, 2008

TallahasseeThe bishops of Florida delivered a letter to Governor Charlie Crist urging him to stop executions in Florida, beginning with the July 1, 2008 scheduled execution of Mark Dean Schwab. Click here for full text of letter.

While praying for the victim, Junny Rios-Martinez, and recognizing the inability to fully grasp the pain experienced by the victim’s family, the bishops lament that taking the life of another who has killed perpetuates violence as a solution. 

“The Lord commands us to forgive, just as our heavenly Father has forgiven us.  It is only through the process of forgiveness that we are healed and our suffering can be alleviated,” said Bishop Victor Galeone, Episcopal Moderator for the State Pro-Life Coordinating Committee of the Florida Catholic Conference and bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine

The bishops call on Governor Crist to set a new standard of respect for the sanctity of all life in our state. Sheila Hopkins, Associate Director for Social Concerns/Respect Life, said, “More and more states in our nation are taking a second look at the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment.  Over the years, studies within our own state have reported an inequality and inconsistency in who receives a death sentence”.



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